A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice
One of Kirkus Reviews‘ Best Books of 2017
“[A] supernatural domestic thriller and a crackling tour de force.” —The New York Times
Thunderstorms are rolling across the summer sky. Every time one breaks, Rose Bowan loses consciousness and has vivid, realistic dreams about being in another woman’s body.
Is Rose merely dreaming? Or is she, in fact, inhabiting a stranger? Disturbed yet entranced, she sets out to discover what is happening to her, leaving the cocoon of her family’s small repertory cinema for the larger, upended world of someone wildly different from herself. Meanwhile her mother is in the early stages of dementia, and has begun to speak for the first time in decades about another haunting presence: Rose’s younger sister.
In Little Sister, one woman fights to help someone she has never met, and to come to terms with a death for which she always felt responsible. With the elegant prose and groundbreaking imagination that have earned her international acclaim, Barbara Gowdy explores the astonishing power of empathy, the question of where we end and others begin, and the fierce bonds of motherhood and sisterhood.
At once suspenseful and lyrical, Little Sister transports its characters (and its readers) into different bodies and different eras. Brilliantly, devastatingly, Barbara Gowdy unveils the alternate possibilities hidden within the everyday.
—Helen Phillips, author of THE BEAUTIFUL BUREAUCRAT
Barbara Gowdy fills me with wonder. It is impossible to categorize her marvelous work, which is the highest compliment I can think of. Little Sister is no exception: a sui generis novel that offers all the excitements of a mystery while also exploring the strange workings of desire, empathy, identity, and memory. I won’t sit through another thunderstorm without remembering this book and its generous surprises.
—Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum, author of MS. HEMPEL CHRONICLES
Little Sister is weird and wonderful. Like all of Gowdy’s work, it will subtly change how you look at the everyday.
—Ayelet Waldman, author of LOVE AND TREASURE